In Conversation: Verdiana Patacchini Interviewed By Alessandro Berni
Alessandro Berni: You were selected for the Italy Pavilion at the Venice Biennial in 2011. What memories do you keep of that period?
Verdiana Patacchini: Lots of positive situations – the sort that give you a boost – make you more determined and willing to go all out in order to achieve your dreams. These satisfactions keep you going.
AB: At 28 years old, you are seen as one of the most promising painters of your generation. Does this make you feel proud or worried?
VP: There are always things to worry about. In any case, I believe it is normal when one has a conscience. As for pride, I will only be able to be proud in the future. If I manage over the years and with my next works, the recognition I have obtained so far will be confirmed.
AB: Does Verdiana Patacchini of today feel she has grown up?
VP: I’d say no …
AB: “La Veronica,” is a work that was recognized with the Catel Prize in 2012. When describing this picture, you stressed that this work was ‘Italian’ and that it originates from an ancient world. Is “Italy” a word that still has a future?
VP: “La Veronica” is a work with signs and inscriptions that cannot be conceived from a blank sheet of paper or anything else. When I think of signs in painting, Basquiat immediately comes to my mind. For this particular work, however, I searched for the image of a Veronica that was painted in the present tense and was Italian. I feel as if I can say that my origins are in Italian tradition. I consider it valuable if one knows how to let one’s identity seep out through their work. If you ask me whether the word “Italy” has a future, I say it certainly does. Saying we’re living through a difficult period doesn’t seem very original. It is innovative, however, to acknowledge how lucky we Italians are to be born in a country that is unique in it’s culture and beauty.
AB: Is Virdi’s future going to be Italian?
VP: I hope so. Yet, whatever the general situation in one’s own country may be, it’s always good to get new experiences and take in other cultures. I’ve just got an artist’s visa for the United States. So for a few years, I’m going to have the chance to try living and working in America.
AB: So you’re switching countries?
VP: Let’s say that I’m on the move. I have got various bits of baggage and works in New York, but I’m about to buy a home in Rome.